Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

SEE JANE SALONS

INTERSECTIONALITY IN MEDIA

Thursday, November 16, 2017
Hosted by CBS Entertainment Diversity

By the year 2020 more than half of the nation’s children are expected to be part of a minority or ethnic group and by 2044, no one racial or ethnic group will dominate the U.S in terms of size. This panel will discuss the significant impact of portrayals of intersectionality in media. What are the best practices to address unconscious bias? What are the challenges faced by people who belong to multiple marginalized groups and how can we achieve a more just media landscape?

OUR SEE JANE SALON PANELIST BIOS

Geena Davis

Geena Davis

Founder

One of Hollywood’s most respected actors, Geena Davis is recognized for her tireless advocacy of gender equality in media nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments. She is the Founder and Chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which is successfully influencing film and television content creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters — and reduce gender stereotyping — in media targeting children 11 and under.

In 2015, Davis launched the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), an unprecedented initiative in support of women and diversity in the entertainment industry and serves as it’s Co-Founder and Chair. BFF provides a platform to significantly boost the commercial value of content produced and starring minorities and women. This initiative is the only film festival to provide guaranteed theatrical, television, digital and home entertainment distribution for the winners.

In 2012, Davis was appointed Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT for the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU). She is an official partner of UN Women, working toward their goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women worldwide. Davis is also the Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women.

As an actor, Davis has appeared in several roles that have become cultural landmarks. Earning the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series Drama, Davis broke ground in her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in ABC’s hit show “Commander in Chief.”

In 1989, Davis received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Lawrence Kasdan’s The Accidental Tourist. She was again nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance as Thelma in Ridley Scott’s Thelma and Louise. Davis went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her work in A League of Their Own. Other credits include iconic films such as Tootsie, The Fly, Beetlejuice The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Stuart Little.

Few have achieved such remarkable success in as many different fields as Davis has: she is not only an award winning actor, but a world-class athlete (at one time the nation’s 13th-ranked archer, and a semi-finalist in the Olympic Trials), and a member of the genius society Mensa. Davis holds honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College.

Madeline Di Nonno

CEO, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Madeline Di Nonno is the Chief Executive Officer of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Di Nonno leads the Institute’s strategic direction, research, education, advocacy, financial and operational activities. Di Nonno brings thirty years of successful international executive and strategic advisor leadership experience in entertainment, non-profit, digital and consumer packaged goods industries.

Previously, Di Nonno served as President and CEO of On The Scene Productions, a leader in digital content creation and distribution. Di Nonno lead the company’s new business development and digital content platforms for the entertainment, healthcare, and consumer products clients such as Nike, Gatorade, Iconix, and PepsiCo.

Prior to On The Scene, Di Nonno served in executive marketing positions for Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz Media and Echo Bridge Home Entertainment where she led global brand marketing, branded franchise development, acquisitions, digital media initiatives for home entertainment and limited theatrical releases in North America, United Kingdom and Australia. 

As Executive Vice President and GM for Nielsen EDI, a leading research provider of Theatrical distribution measurement and information, Di Nonno drove innovations in digitizing product offering, new business and product development and studio theatrical distribution and exhibition client management.
Previously, Di Nonno served as Senior Vice President, Marketing Alliances and Digital media at the Hallmark Channel, and launched the cable channel and established marketing, digital media, e-commerce, and corporate alliance functions.  Di Nonno developed revenue-generating, integrated marketing programs with companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Fuji, Mail Boxes Etc., Universal Pictures, Target, Sony Pictures, Chrysler, and Baskin Robbins.  Di Nonno pioneered the Channel’s digital media initiatives.

Di Nonno served eight years at Universal Studios Home Video as Vice President, Strategic Marketing where she established the company’s first Digital Platforms and marketing campaigns. Di Nonno supervised marketing campaigns for all theatrical, direct-to-video and library releases and spearheaded Universal’s launch into DVD and interactive.

Di Nonno began her career at ABC Television Network in corporate publicity working on the marketing communications campaigns for mini-series, sports and daytime, including “The Winds of War,” “The Thorn Birds” and the 1984 Olympics.

Di Nonno is a requested keynote speaker at global industry conferences, corporations, academic institutions, film festivals and organizations such as AdWeek, Cannes Lion, CinemaCon, CTAM, Digital Hollywood, CES, The White House, The Department of State, UNESCO, the United Nations. Di Nonno has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Forbes, Huffington Post, Kidscreen, Fast Company, and Wired Magazine.

Education
Di Nonno holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University.

Board Affiliations
Di Nonno serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Television Academy Foundation; Board of Directors: Population Media Center, and Promundo U.S.; Advisory Board for PBS Kid’s Ready Jet Go, GameChanger Films; Strategic Advisor, YouTube Red. Di Nonno served as President of the Glass Lions Jury for the Cannes Lions 2016.

Jennifer Brea

Documentary Filmmaker, Unrest

Jennifer Brea is an independent documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She has an AB from Princeton University and was a PhD student at Harvard until sudden illness left her bedridden. In the aftermath, she rediscovered her first love, film. Her feature documentary, Unrest, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, where it won a Special Jury Prize. She is also co-creator of Unrest VR, winner of the Sheffield Doc/Fest Alternate Realities Award. An activist for invisible disabilities and chronic illness, she co-founded a global advocacy network, #MEAction and is a TED Talker.

Allen Maldonado

Actor, Black-ish, Survivor’s Remorse

Allen Maldonado is one of young Hollywood’s busiest stars on the rise. The multi-talented actor, writer and entrepreneur, not only co-stars on the award-winning sitcom, Black-ish (ABC), he has also finished his second season as a full time writer on the hit Starz series, Survivor’s Remorse, has recurred for three seasons on You’re the Worst (FXX), is starring opposite Tracy Morgan in THE LAST OG, his highly anticipated new series on TBS Executive Produced by Jordan Peele, and has developed the industry’s first digital app for short films, Everybody Digital, which launched on October 3, 2017.

In the past couple of years, Allen has appeared in several blockbuster films including the Sony Pictures action thriller, The Equalizer. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen), Maldonado stars as ‘Marcus’ opposite Academy Award winner Denzel Washington. The film is adapted from the television series of the same name and follows ‘Robert McCall’ (Washington), a solitary, monastic figure with a mysterious past who despises injustice and devotes himself to helping victims. The film was released and opened at #1 in the box office.

Maldonado was also seen in the feature Cake alongside Jennifer Aniston, Sam Worthington, Anna Kendrick and William H. Macy. Cake won a Golden Globe and several other awards. After Cake, Allen joined the cast of Universal’s NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, produced by Ice Cube and helmed by F. Gary Gray, which opened at #1 in the box office and stayed there for four weeks straight.

Last September, TV One aired the TV movie, Ringside, in which Maldonado starred as Spencer Collier, the egotistical welterweight boxing champion of the world. In addition, he has 4 films in post-production slated to be released in 2017; First Match, Smartass, Quest, and Where’s the Money?

His dexterity in sitcom is demonstrated by his character in Black-ish, in which Allen co-stars as ‘Curtis’ the super cool millennial assistant to Anthony Anderson in the offices of Stevens & Lido. On You’re the Worst, which centers on two toxic, self-destructive people who fall in love and attempt a relationship; he portrays ‘Honey Nutz’ in this sitcom which puts a dark twist on the romantic comedy genre. In addition, Maldonado has impressed with memorable appearances on Major Crimes and Rosewood.

Lastly, Survivor’s Remorse is a hit comedy on Starz that follows Cam Calloway and his family as they deal with his recent rise in fame and money as a professional basketball player. Maldonado stars as ‘DeShauwn May,’ a wild and spontaneous ex-drug dealer turned sports manager. For season 3 of Survivor’s Remorse he was brought on as a writer and quickly earned a “story by” credit, showing he’s just as talented behind the camera as he is in front of it. He recently wrapped writing for season 4.

Of African American and Puerto Rican descent, Maldonado is a native of Rialto, CA, a city just outside of Los Angeles. Allen was raised by his single mother, having lost his father to cancer at a very young age. Growing up in a tough neighborhood, he was inspired by his mother’s passion and determination. This platform of support has proven invaluable for him to achieve his goals. At the age of 21, Maldonado landed a year-long role in the daytime series The Young & the Restless until his career was briefly interrupted when he was involved in a near-fatal car accident with a drunk driver. After a brief, yet arduous recovery, Maldonado began to build his resume landing roles in the Emmy® nominated CBS drama Judging Amy and FX’s The Shield Detroit 187, Chase and Rizzoli & Isles to name a few. Additionally, his film credits include Live Free or Die Hard, The Ugly Truth, The Next Three Days, and the Marvel Studios short film All Hail the King.

Outside of his acting career, Maldonado is a successful entrepreneur. He runs a record company- Get It Done Records; a production company- Only Son Productions; and a T-shirt line- Vineyards Phinest, where a portion of the proceeds go to his foundation. As a staunch advocate for higher education, community service, and encouraging youth to pursue the arts, Maldonado is the founder of Demo Nerds, a foundation that provides free acting classes, tools, and services for at-risk youth and foster children in the inner cities of Los Angeles. Additionally, the organization frequently collaborates with other city programs such as “The Boys & Girls Club,” “The Dream Center,” and the “New Village Girls Academy.” During his rare free time, Maldonado enjoys working out, boxing, playing basketball, and spending time with his family.

Paul Martin

SVP and Chief Diversity Officer, Sony Pictures Entertainment

As Chief Diversity Officer at Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), Paul Martin is responsible for global staffing functions at all levels within the organization. Martin, as part of the studio’s People & Organization department, is particularly tasked with bringing together people of different experiences and backgrounds to create a workplace that is innovative and engaging, attracting top talent from around the world.

Since Martin joined SPE in 2008, the studio has implemented a multi-prong diversity and cross-cultural strategy that takes diversity beyond its traditional boundaries to create an environment of inclusion. He has introduced programs geared at targeting emerging and diverse creative talent who can help tell stories that will entertain a global, multicultural audience. He also leads the company’s 12 Employee Business Resource Groups (EBRGs), where more than 1400 global employees participate to share common interests, foster professional development and link to overall business strategies.

Martin has been recognized by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the top diversity executives in the country. He sits on the board of several non-profits geared toward reaching out to young people in underserved communities and providing guidance around education, critical thinking and conflict resolution skills.

Prior to joining SPE, Martin was Vice President, Worldwide Recruitment for Warner Bros. Entertainment. In this role, his responsibilities included for strategically restructuring all aspects of the recruiting process at Warner Bros. and launching an employee affinity groups program. Previous to that, Martin was the Human Resources Manager at LRN, The Legal Knowledge Company, a startup organization specializing in legal research and ethics training. He holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School.

Erika Green Swafford

Writer and Producer, How to Get Away with Murder

Erika Green Swafford began her career not in entertainment, but in hospitality, after graduating from Cornell University’s Hotel School.  She earned an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Business. Using graduate school to transition into entertainment, Erika rose through the ranks to become an executive at Oxygen Media. She made the official leap to the creative side after being accepted into the Warner Bros writing program in 2007.   She was also a part of the inaugural WGA Writer’s Access Project and has had material selected for inclusion in CBS’ Women Writer’s showcase.  Erika writes and performs on stage and has performed selected works for 15 Minutes of Femme, I Love a Good Story, Write Club,  and the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival. In her spare Erika is a cooking instructor with Hipcooks. Erika staffed on the hit WBTV/CBS drama, The Mentalist, during its inaugural season and was on the show for six seasons. She has gone on to become a writer/a Co-Executive Producer on ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder and is currently on NBC’s Reverie.

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